Speculaas Cookies by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love


In my formative youth, at the impressionable age of 15, I spent the year abroad in The Netherlands. There I learned that the Dutch did NOT live in windmills, wooden clog shoes are much more comfortable than you would think, and the Dutch ate a lot of cheese. I also learned that the major holiday that they celebrated at the end of the year was St. Nicholas Eve, December 5th and not Christmas. The Dutch Sinterklaas (and the basis of the North American Santa Claus) gave out holiday treats ranging from chocolate letters, to marzipan figures to one of my favorite cookies speculaas. Thin, spicy, crunchy shortcrust cookies, these treats are the Dutch equivalent to the American gingersnap. With a mix of spices, heavy on the cinnamon, speculaas have as much snap as their American counterpart, but with an added layer of multiple spices like nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom. Traditionally speculaas are made by pressing the dough into a mold before baking in the oven. Using a springerle rolling pin (a rolling pin with a pattern carved into it) is an easy way to impress a shape into the cookies. If you don’t have a speculaas mold or a springerle rolling pin (both of which can be found online or at a specialty baking shop), you can just use regular holiday cookie cutters to make festive shaped cookies instead or just roll them out, and cut them into squares with a sharp knife. They’ll still taste great and make your house smell like the holidays.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dutch
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 60 cookies
Calories 44 kcal
Author Irvin


  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter 115 g or 1 stick
  • 6 tablespoons white granulated sugar 75 g
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 165 g
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 235 g


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper of a silpat.
  2. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Place in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. Cream butter and dry ingredients together on medium speed for 30 seconds or until the batter is uniform in color. Scrape down the sides with a large spatula and add the vanilla extract and egg and beat on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 more seconds). Scrape down the sides again and add the flour. Beat on medium speed until incorporated (about 30 more seconds)
  3. Split the cookie dough in half. If you using the springerle rolling pin, roll the dough out until 1/2 inch thick with a plain rolling pin. Liberally dust the springerle pin with flour then roll over the dough, pressing firmly to make a 1/4 inch thick cookie dough, with imprint. Cut the dough along the springerle grid lines with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. If using a cookie cutter, roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick with a plain rolling pin and cut out cookies. If using a traditional speculaas cookie mold, roll the dough until 1/2 thick with a plain rolling pin. Lightly spray the mold with cooking oil, then liberally dust with all purpose flour (knocking out any loose flour once you’ve dusted it). Press the dough into the mold, remove excess dough of the back of the mold.

    Rolling out speculaas or speculoos cookies by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love
  4. Carefully move or unmold the cookie onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before the time is up, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Bake the cookies in the oven 9-11 minutes or until the cookies look golden brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving the cookies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. The cookies will harden as they cool.

    Speculoos Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love |

Recipe Notes

Special equipment
Baking sheet
Parchment paper or silpat
Stand mixer
Rolling pin
Springerle rolling pin, speculaas mold, cookie cutters or sharp knife